IT Delivery Revolution: Welcome to the Enterprise Cloud

Enterprise IT is at a crossroads.

The old way of delivering IT services to the business simply won’t work anymore. Until now, enterprises were forced to run applications and store data in a  cloud tied to a duct-taped data center. IT infrastructure “solutions” were delivered in cardboard boxes. As a result, the great promise of the cloud – true agility – has yet to be realized for the organizations that need it most.

The market is demanding a new approach: the era of the true Enterprise Cloud.

The Enterprise Cloud, as IO defines it,  provides agility not just in terms of on-demand capacity, but transparency and Intelligent Control as well. It lives within a data center environment that consciously converges physical and logical security measures. It offers ever-increasing efficiency because it is smart, generating a wealth of data actively churned into actionable intelligence. And the Enterprise Cloud enables  real-time modification of resiliency based on workload and application needs.

For enterprises to confidently migrate –as a matter of course– to cloud, seven thresholds must be met:Enterprise Cloud must enable deployment of any application, at any scale, on any premise, anywhere in the world. To enable IT agility, the cloud solution must accommodate the enterprise’s global footprint, regulatory requirements, and capacity needs.  Enterprise Cloud requires a global footprint and truly open hybrid delivery options – enterprises can deploy Enterprise Cloud on their premise, within a colocated data center, at some other location, and all of the above.

Enterprise Cloud must live in a software-defined data center with Intelligent Control at its foundation. The Enterprise Cloud lives within a software-defined data center that begins at the bottom of the stack. This gives CIOs ground-up, real-time visibility and control necessary to lean-provision based on total application need, to shift workloads, and to rapidly scale up or down.

Enterprise Cloud must be secured at the data center level. Enterprise Cloud must live within Tier III designed, SSAE16 Type II SOC1 certified, PCI-compliant, UL-listed data centers. Secure around the world, these data centers need to pass muster with top players in the most highly-regulated industries, offering physical and logical access controls, fully cognizant of modern data sovereignty concerns.

Enterprise Cloud must be analytical. Enterprise Cloud needs to deliver billions of rows of operating data that empowers CIOs to squeeze inefficiencies out of the IT value chain, intelligently manage application demand,  run predictive simulations that quantify value and cost, and deliver economic, environmental and social gains.

Enterprise Cloud must be open. Enterprise Cloud requires an open reference architecture consisting of Open Compute hardware and OpenStack software–standards originally developed by Facebook and NASA to reduce their overall IT operating expense and limit their lock-in from large technology vendors. In the Enterprise Cloud, data ingress/egress fees are low or non-existent, and enterprises are free to choose their own service brokers and network carriers.

Enterprise Cloud must be transparent. Many countries have regulated new compliance requirements and legislation that requires customer data to be kept within the customer’s country of residence. Global CIOs must be able to see and control their data, down to the rack-level, wherever in the world it is. “Whohas custody?” will be the question of the day.

Enterprise Cloud must enable true enterprise transformation. The IT organization must be aligned with the needs of the business units; if IT can’t deliver value, the business units will get their IT needs met elsewhere–via highly problematic shadow IT.  A cost-per-use model with reliable charge-back capabilities will position IT as a high-service touchpoint for the entire enterprise.

Does this seem like a high bar? In reality, the Enterprise Cloud credo boils down to the best sense of each of the following :

OPEN. CHEAP. CLEAR. SAFE. PRESENT. ELASTIC.

Ironically, it is a democratization of converged IT that will allow the world’s most prestigious and demanding enterprises to transform and prosper.